Sometimes it seems that authors and illustrators live in a different world, and maybe depending on the book they are reading, that is true! But for the most part, they are just like any other professional and are striving to do their best. Like any small business owner, authors and illustrators rely on the public’s help to get news of their book out. Here are some practical and easy ways to help out your favorite author or illustrator.
Buy their book!
This is an obvious one, but let me break it down! Authors/illustrators get paid an advance when they get their book deal. This advance is usually paid in two or three parts and contrary to popular belief, is not usually a huge amount of money. Once the book sells enough copies to make back the advance money, then the author and illustrator will start making royalties for every book sold.
Leave a Review online
If you cannot buy the book, have no fear! You don’t need to buy the book to review it online. Plus supporting your local library is an excellent way to support your community and literacy! So whatever way you read a book, leave a rating and review on your website of choice (Goodreads, Powell’s, Books-a-million, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon)! Some websites, like Amazon, use the number of reviews to give a book traction and help it get recommended to strangers. By leaving a review you personally help a book be seen by more people.
Tell someone about it!
From your local indie bookstore to your best friend — talk about the books you love! Word of mouth is always the best way to spread information. Whenever someone tells me about a kid who’s dealing with friend drama, I tell them to go get Real Friends by Shannon Hale. Or if someone mentions they don’t have entertainment for their summer trip, I can easily mention Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian or The Summer I Turned Pretty series by Jenny Han. Situations like these can help spread the word about good books and get them in the hands of kids (and people) who need them. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
Happy reading and reviewing!